MURDER – DESERVES TO BE MURDERED
Produced by: Deepak Mukut, Roly Prakash and Y.K. Sharma
Direction: Prakash Jaiswal
Lyrics: Gautam Susmit
Screenplay, story and dialogue: Meerak Mirza
Bengali dialogue: Sanjeev and Partha
D.O.P.: Prem and M. Ningoo
Cast: Rituparna Sengupta, Amitava Bhattacharya, Indrajeet, Parijat Chakraborty, Vivek Trivedi, Govind Namdeo and Mushtaq Khan.
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Murder opens with the mysterious death of Manav (Indrajeet), Mahi (Rituparna Sengupta)’s husband. He fell off a bridge into the sea. His body cannot be traced. He surfaces in Goa when only to find that the wife he loves with an obsessive passion who has come to relieve herself from trauma to Goa has fallen in love with Milind (Amitabh Bhattacharya), a pop singer at a Goa discotheque. It is love at first sight. Instead of lamenting over the recent death of her beloved husband, Mahi finds solace in the arms of another man.
Is Manav dead or is he still alive? Mahi is convinced that Manav is dead because she can sight him everywhere. Her close friend (Parijat Chakraborty) and her boyfriend (Vivek Trivedi) feel that she is still traumatized by her husband’s death and is hallucinating. Manav is intent on killing Milind to gain access to Mahi. Can he be stopped? Will Mahi be able to open a fresh page of her life with Milind? Will the Catholic priest Dr. George Lucas (Milind Gunaji) liberate Mahi by exorcising the evil spirit of Manav?
Two police officers (Govind Namdeo and Mushtaq Khan) who suspect Mahi is responsible for the death of Manav, come to Goa to track her. Fleshed out along the lines of the bumbling idiots Thomson and Thompson (with a ‘p’) from Tintin Comics, these two offer welcome comic relief in a film that is at best expendable. The sex and sizzle by Mahi’s friend and boyfriend first in the bungalow and then in the beach are so inane that it might turn you away from the film rather than draw you to it.
The two characters in the Goa bungalow which Mahi and her friend come to live in are like walking-talking robots. The lady cook talks in a male voice in staccato tones sounding like a celluloid ghost and walks as if possessed by some spirit while the caretaker is inconsistently ghostly. If the director’s intention was to instill fear in his audience, it does just the opposite – wants to make you either laugh or cry. If the director wished to generate suspense, it comes across like tepid water. If he wanted to exude titillation, it falls flat on its face for bad shot composition, editing and cinematography. If the intention was to scare with the magic tricks of Dr. George Lucas, the effect is to bring in a lot of laughter in the audience. Anand-Milind’s music reminds us of their golden days but the magic is missing..
Amitabha Bhattacharya as Milind and Indrajeet as Manav, otherwise promising, are lukewarm and dull. Manav, the ghost, even sings a soulful song pining for his lady love which tells us that the other world is not deprived of music. Parijat as Mahi’s friend and Vivek Trivedi as her boyfriend have obviously been directed to look and act their sexy best but they fail on both counts. Parijat will do well if she works on her screen image and focusses on better roles. Vivek needs to shed some weight and get some lessons in acting. Rituparna Sengupta whose costumes are not always with-it, is the sole saving grace of the film other than Govind Namdeo and Mushtaq Khan.
The question that strikes while watching this practically unwatchable film is – can the numero uno star of Bengali cinema pull in the audience for a bad film? Some diehard Rituparna fans might still vouch for her beauty and her talent and give their thumbs-up to the film. But the majority will choose to walk out or give the film a miss. Shot entirely on the picturesque locations of Goa could not save Murder from making the critics want to murder the film, a pity because the pains the team has taken to bring the film to the theatres come across quite clearly. The Hindi version is called Mad, a more appropriate title methinks.
– Shoma A. Chatterji